The Johnny Depp Supernatural Fantasy Is A Hit On Streaming

By Britta DeVore | Updated

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With the spooky season upon us, many may be turning to classic horror features like Scream, Hellraiser, Halloween, or any number of titles from the scary genre to get into the spirit. While it isn’t a standalone horror film, the Johnny Depp-led Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is, according to FlixPatrol, dominating the charts on Hulu. Filled with action, adventure, pirates, and plenty of supernatural entities, the film that kicked off the beloved franchise is a must-watch this Halloween season.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, starring Johnny Depp as the iconic Jack Sparrow, is currently streaming on Hulu.

The year was 2003 and Johnny Depp and the rest of those involved with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl couldn’t have had any idea what they were starting when the film sailed into theaters. Directed by Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Rango), the film brought in audiences by the droves, with viewers eager to check out the star-studded feature.

Along with Depp, the first installment in the money-making franchise also featured performances from Orlando Bloom (who had recently grown to prominence in the first two The Lord of the Rings films), Keira Knightley, and Geoffrey Rush.

Backed by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the attraction at Disney theme parks, the studio knew it had a monumental hit on its hands from the moment Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, made his first stumbling entrance. From there, we meet Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a blacksmith who joins Jack Sparrow on his quest to save the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann (Knightley).

When it comes to the term “overnight hit,” The Curse of the Black Pearl is exactly what people are talking about.

On their journey, they come face-to-face with ghosts and other things that go bump in the night as they must rescue Elizabeth from the clutches of Captain Hector Barbossa and the rest of his ghostly pirate crew aboard the Black Pearl who have their sights set on treasure.

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Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

When it comes to the term “overnight hit,” The Curse of the Black Pearl is exactly what people are talking about. The film easily grossed $654.3 million at the global box office against its $140 million production budget. The casting team deserves  massive kudos on this one with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom being two of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time.

Not to mention Keira Knightley’s career had just become solidified thanks to the production which preceded her time in titles including Bend it Like Beckham and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Then, there was the Captain of the feared pirate ship, Geoffrey Rush, who had already long been a gigantic force in the entertainment business.

Sparking an obsession that can only be described as a frenzy, it quickly became obvious to those at the top of Disney Studios that a franchise could and should take form. Immediately rehiring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest went into production to come out in 2006 with the third film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End arriving shortly after in 2007. 

Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

By the time the fourth installment rolled around in 2011, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley had set sail for other projects with Johnny Depp being the only remaining member of the trio to return for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

However, Geoffrey Rush would make a return as the feared pirate captain with supporting performances from Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane. The fifth and final title, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales made landfall in 2017 with Depp, Rush, and Bardem all returning.

The Future Of Pirates Of The Caribbean

In 2018, it was announced that a sixth film was in development, but as of right now, no further updates have been made. The slowdown is likely due in part to off-screen drama circling Johnny Depp, with the studio cutting ties with him following accusations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Without the man behind the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow returning, it’s unlikely that another Pirates of the Caribbean movie would be able to stay afloat.

In 2018, Amber Heard released an op-ed article with the Washington Post in which she detailed an abusive relationship that she had endured. While she didn’t mention Johnny Depp by name, it was presumed by not only readers but also the entertainment world that she was speaking about her ex. With this, Depp began to lose his traction in Hollywood, with his name being stricken from call sheets including Pirates of the Caribbean.

However, during last year’s court case that saw Amber Heard and Johnny Depp duking it out against claims of libel, a spokesperson for Disney said that it was not Heard’s claims that knocked Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Instead, they pointed to the actor’s behavior on set which included showing up to work drunk on multiple occasions. 

Although Johnny Depp (for the most part) won the court case against his ex and his star is beginning to rise in Hollywood again, it seems unlikely that audiences will ever see him reprise his role in a Pirates of the Caribbean film. However, audiences can revisit the magic of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl as it’s now streaming on Hulu.